Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pretty Palettes August Reveal

In November of last year, Erin Prais-Hintz started a Pretty Palettes color challenge on the Halcraft blog.

Each month, Erin picks a set of beads that coordinate with a color palette and invites her readers to create something using those beads.

A few months ago, Erin started partnering with guest bloggers.  It's always fun to see how two people use the same set of beads.

The inspiration for August comes from notion:creative, which showcases street art.

Erin picked a variety of beads

As much as I tried, I couldn't get those beads to play with each other.  I ended up doing a few pieces, each using some of the beads.

The first necklace uses those delicious brown rondelles and the red beaded beads.

I made a small Conway Bead, designed by Gwen Fisher, with red and brown seed beads.  It went perfectly with the brown and red beads.

The rest of the necklace is made using part of Catherine Hamilton's Orbital Ensamble necklace.  I like how the chain maille orbits echo the beaded beads.

The second necklace is similar to the first one, but I used the pink and white beads.  I also used small green/teal beads from Michael's that matched the larger teal disc beads from Erin.

I paired these with more Conway Beads.  I went a bit off here when I grabbed dark green seed beads in an attempt to match the teal discs from Erin.  Those beads have dark greens, blues and teals in them.  The green isn't quite the right shade.

The rest of the necklace is made using different part of the Orbital Ensamble necklace.  I had thought that a teal patina would work, but it didn't match.  Instead, I used a laurel green patina from Miss Fickle Media.  While the green matches the beaded beads, it is a bit off from the palette.

As with Heather's Michaels challenge, I used the smaller pink beads to make Sabine Lippert's Granada pendant.  (You can find the pattern for this in Sabine's book, Beaded Fantasies.)

This time around, I used white in the center and I *love* how it looked.

I actually used red and pink together!  I was amazed at how well they worked together.

I liked the design I used for the pendant in Heather's Michael's challenge, so I did something similar here.

I beaded a spiral rope using pink, red, teal, and brown, then hung the pendant from a brass chain.

The spiral rope shows off the jewel tones.

Finally, I used the teal discs to try an idea that had been swirling in my head.

I threaded three of them on a headpin and hung it like a pendant, similar to how I used one of Erin's beads here.

Then, keeping it simple, I made another spiral rope.  I couldn't find the right shade of teal to work with the disc beads, so I went with emerald.

I don't know if you can tell, but I used a teal seed bead for the base of the rope.  I also incorporated white and brown tones.

I still have an idea for the other two beaded beads.  I ran out of time to try it before the reveal, but it's banging around in my head, so you might see it soon.

Erin, I can't tell you how much of an honor it was to be chosen to work with you.  I had so much fun with these beads.  Thank you so much.

If you want to see what Erin made with these beads, check out the Halcraft blog.  I know she made something fabulous that you will want to see!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A very chain maille birthday

It seems my birthday was all about chain maille.

My parents gave me a very nice wubbers flat nose pliers which came in handy when my husband surprised me with a kit for Blue Buddha's Chunky Cuff bracelet, designed by W. John MacMullen.

When I first saw this bracelet, I wasn't sure about it, but after seeing it in person, I just *love* it.  John used a layering technique I hadn't seen before and the result is fantastic.  I have plenty of ideas using this technique.

I had a few leftover rings and made a simple pair of earrings.

In addition to the sunburst kit, my in-laws gave me the Nouveau pendant and earrings kit, designed by April Hannah Llewellyn.

I just love the colors -- so bright and fun!  The earrings are awesome to wear.  

I haven't worn the pendant yet because I haven't decided exactly how to build a necklace around it.  The kit came with a chain, but I want to make something special, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Halcraft Pretty Palettes

In November of last year, Erin Prais-Hintz started a Pretty Palettes color challenge on the Halcraft blog.

Each month, Erin picks a set of beads that coordinate with a color palette and invites her readers to create something using those beads.  A few months ago, Erin started partnering with guest bloggers.  It's always fun to see how two people use the same set of beads.

I was honored when Erin asked me to be her partner for the August Pretty Palette challenge.  Erin has such a way with color and design.  She can find inspiration in virtually anything:  color, literature, music, and travel, just to name a few.

The inspiration for August comes from notion:creative, which showcases street art.

Erin picked a variety of beads

I'm so excited to play!

You are more than welcome to play along.  Erin offers a link up every month.

The beads are from Michaels:

99042 Bronze Iris 10x14mm rondel
95109 Teal Dyed Jasper 9x14mm
93286 Dyed agate pink round 10mm
59593 Round dyed pink quartzite 6mm
89899 Bone carved melon 8x10mm
93359 Dyed red bamboo coral 14mm beaded beads

Check back on August 27th for the reveal, both here and on the Halcraft blog.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Sunburst pendants

A few months ago, Paula from Flutterby Kisses created a chain maille pendant that mimics wirework.

After much begging (and not just from me), she created a tutorial for her Sunburst Pendant and it has gone viral.

Every day, it seems, someone posts a rendition of Paula's design.  Both Blue Buddha and C and T Designs have created kits for a smaller version of Paula's pendant.

My in-laws were kind enough to give me Blue Buddha's copper and brown sunburst kit for my birthday.  I love Blue Buddha's kits because there always seem to be extra rings.  Instead of the three pendants promised, I made five!

I played around with the pendants and liked the way they looked linked together.

I added two herringbone ropes and a necklace was born.

I wanted to use a sunburst for a clasp, but it just didn't work.  Instead, I tried a little wire wrapping.

If you want to make a sunburst of your own, you can find Paula's tutorial here.  You do need the tutorial if you buy the kits from Blue Buddha or C and T designs.

Monday, July 21, 2014

In love with Cylon (not the one you think, though)

My mom asked me to create a watch band using a watch face that she liked.

I looked at different weaves and settled on the cylon weave.

This is a mini version of cylon, using smaller rings.  And I do mean "smaller."  The blue rings in the middle are 3/32 inch -- the smallest rings I've ever used.

I am so proud of how it turned out, though.  I think it's perfect and am already planning a cylon cuff for myself.

You can find instructions for the cylon cuff here on Blue Buddha's site.  The instructions give ring sizes for the regular version (using larger rings) and this version.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Another Michaels Challenge!

I was so excited to see Heather Powers and Lorelei Eurto were hosting another Michaels challenge.

Heather picked out the beadss using this as her inspiration.

The colors in the paisley fabric are so awesome!  And Heather picked out the perfect beads to match!

(Both of these are Heather's photos.  I completely forgot to take a photo of the beads before I started playing.)

I love the fuschia and the blues and greens -- gorgeous colors and ones I seldom choose for myself.

When I got these beads, I had been playing with Gwen Fisher's Conway Bead design.  I whipped up a few, thinking it would be fun to include them.

The Conway beads are slightly bigger than the large green beads, but I think they work well.

I also used the white rondelles and the brown cube beads along with the green ones.

I made a half Persian 3 in 1 chain to go with the beads and managed to create a necklace.  :)

After I finished this, I realized that I pulled the beads I was most comfortable with -- green, brown, earthy tones.  I added a bit of pink to the beaded beads, but conveniently forgot the pink and blue Michaels beads.

I grabbed those beads -- jewel tones I don't usually work with -- and decided to create something with those.

I turned to a favorite pattern from Sabine Lippert and used the pink beads to create a Bollywood version of her Granada pendant.  (You can find the pattern for this in Sabine's book, Beaded Fantasies.)

I wanted to make an elaborate necklace to showcase the pendant and tried several different things, none of which seemed right to me.

In the end, I went with something simpler.

I love the green sari ribbon.

These are colors I never ever .. ever would have chosen and I am so pleased with how this turned out.

I took a part of the Granada pendant and made a single components.  They made great earrings.

At one point during my necklace trials, I made a few drops with the blue/gold beads.  Not one to let anything go to waste, I whipped up this simple pair of earrings.

I was sad that I didn't find a use for the brown rectangle flower beads.  However, I did use them in the last Michaels challenge.  That counts, right?

Heather and Lorelei, thank you for a fun challenge!  I have a new favorite necklace thanks to the two of you!

Please check Heather's blog for the link up and see what the other participants did with these beads.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Recently, I've been playing around with Cindy Holsclaw's Double Pinwheel Beaded Beads.

These guys are so cute and bead up in a snap.

Cindy gives directions for five different sizes, which is great for something like this.

This necklace is inspired by Erin Siegel's "Greenwish Punk Necklace" in her book, Punk Chic Jewelry.  I loved the design and whipped up a quick half Persian 3 in 1 chain to complete the necklace.

However, the pinwheel beads seemed to large for the smaller chain.

I made a larger chain using the same weave and I think it works much better.

I also made a small pair of pinwheel beads and paired them with charms from Sharyl's Jewelry.

I thought they turned out nicely.

You can find more of Sharyl's charms and beads in her artfire store.

Cindy sells her tutorials and kits in her store, Bead Origami.

Erin has other tutorials for sale in her etsy shop and her book is available here on Amazon.